Cheesy Pasta with Hidden Veg

Hi everyone,

As most of you probably know Maisie isn’t a pasta fan and also due to her dairy intolerance isn’t really a cheesy sauce fan either!…so when Maisie goes for a playdate the first thing Alfie asks for is cheesy pasta!! So here is my version of cheesy pasta or macaroni cheese which has whizzed up cauliflower in the sauce! Alfie actually quite likes cauliflower so i could have got away with leaving chunks of cauliflower in here but we had a slightly fussier dinner date tonight as Alfie had a playdate so I tried to hide the cauliflower and beef up the cheese so that he was none the wiser!

I’m not usually one for hiding veggies as i actually think it’s good for the kids to see what they’re eating, know the different textures etc but I also know that getting kids to eat veggies can be tricky and testing and then as a mother you worry that your kids aren’t getting enough nutrients etc so i’ll serve some veggies on the side and then see if this hidden version works too!

So on with the recipe and the how to’s…first off you need to get your pasta in a pan. When boiling pasta use a big a pan as possible and add lots of water and then some salt. Cook as per the packet instructions and then drain.

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Next quickly blitz some cauliflower in a small blender until very fine…

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Now you can make a start with your cheese sauce. It’s very easy to make a cheese sauce you just need to make sure you add the milk very slowly

So start with 1 tbsp butter…and melt in a pan.

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Next add 1 tbsp flour…stir this for a few minutes to cook the flour out.

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Then very slowly and with a whisk, stirring continually add your milk…bit by bit..

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When your sauce is thick but smooth you can now add the rest of the ingredients so the cauliflower, the nutmeg, the dijon mustard, some black pepper and then your cheese…

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Once you’ve stirred that through it’s time to add your pasta.

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Now transfer to an oven proof dish, top with more cheese and then place under a grill to melt and brown the cheese if eating straight away. Alternatively if you’re cooking this later pop it into a preheated oven at 180C for around 35/40 minutes and if necessary finish off under the grill.

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Enjoy with some caulflower and broccoli on the side!

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What you’ll need

  • Pasta of your choice
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 250ml milk
  • Grated nutmeg
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • Grated cheese – mix of cheddar (100g) and Parmesan (25g)
  • Cauliflower florets – large handful – blitzed in a food processor

What you need to do:

  • Start by cooking your pasta as per the packet instructions
  • Now grab yourself a large pan and melt 1tbsp butter.
  • Next add your flour and stir to form your roux. Cook for a few minutes to cook your flour out.
  • Now very slowly and with a whisk add your milk. Whisking continually.
  • When you have a smooth and thick sauce it’s time to add the remaining ingredients, so the mustard, nutmeg, cauliflower and cheese.
  • Mix thoroughly and then add your pasta.
  • Transfer this to an oven proof dish and either pop under the grill until the cheese has melted and browned.
  • Alternatively you can pop this in the fridge and heat up later. Simply pop into a preheated oven at 180C for around 35/40 minutes and if necessary pop under the grill to brown the cheese.
  • Enjoy with some veggies!

xx

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